Rutger Gunnarsson

Born: February 12th, 1946, Linköping (Sweden)
Died: May 8th, 2015, Stockholm (Sweden)
Nationality: Swedish

Rutger Gunnarsson played the bass in several amateur rock bands in Linköping, before he was a student at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm. He got acquainted with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson when he joined their Hootenanny Singers as a bass player in 1972. Later, when Ulvaeus and Andersson formed ABBA, Gunnarsson was a musician on all of their albums (1974-’82) and toured with the quartet between 1977 and 1980. In the 1980s, he continued working with Ulvaeus and Andersson, writing part of the arrangements to their musical ‘Chess’; moreover, he became involved in writing studio arrangements and, as such, worked with the likes of Kikki Danielsson, Robert Wells, Lena Philipsson, but also international stars Céline Dion, Westlife, and Elton John. He arranged the musicals ‘Les misérables’ and ‘Mamma mia!’ and has been a member of various ABBA tribute bands.

Rutger Gunnarsson played on stage with ABBA in their winning performance in the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Waterloo’ in 1974. Many years later, when Russian superstar Alla Pugacheva was looking for a producer, Benny Andersson advised Rutger Gunnarsson to her. He arranged and conducted her 1997 autobiographical Eurovision entry ‘Primadonna’, with which Russia obtained a slightly disappointing fifteenth spot.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Rutger Gunnarsson will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1997: Primadonna